The Rot by Siri Pettersen is the sequel in the Raven Rings trilogy. This trilogy is slowly being translated to English, and I’m very glad to have gotten to read the next part of Hirka’s journey.

All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may not reflect the published edition.

From Goodreads:

To protect her homeland of Ym, Hirka left it behind. She traveled through the raven rings, a stone circle that can be used as a portal, to an unfamiliar world. A world without the Might, a world where none of the people have tails, a world that seems rotten at its very core. That world is modern-day Europe.

Hirka was supposed to fit in with humans here. And her departure was supposed to be save Ym from the invasion of the blind. Yet none of that has happened. Instead, Hirka finds herself just as much of an outsider among the humans as she was among ymlings—even more so when she discovers that she has blood of the blind running through her veins. Meanwhile back in Ym, Rime—now the Ravenbearer—is fighting an ongoing battle against the blind, not to mention against his fellow Councilors, as well as with his own despair over losing Hirka.

Separated by worlds, unsure who to trust, and hunted for reasons they cannot understand, both Hirka and Rime must find a way to stop a thousand-year-old evil from destroying not only Ym, but every world in existence.

“Your restraint is inhuman, my dear.” Rime. His name is rime.

Our last adventure with Hirka and Rime ended with Hirka entering the raven rings and going off into another world in search of our parents. Pettersen does a great job of picking right back up in this sequel. Hirka is in our modern-day human world, and it was interesting to see her interacting with modern things. I will say that it was somewhat jarring to transition from Ym to our world during the chapters with Rime, and that would interrupt my reading process. This was needed, but it threw me off. Additionally, we’re to believe Hirka doesn’t understand English, but that doesn’t show well.

“New blood for old evil.”

Hirka’s parentage is finally revealed, and without spoiling what it is, this really was well done. I enjoyed seeing her process this information, and how she communicated with others about it. My only grievance is that Hirka reads as such a young character. I think this was also my grievance in the first book. She is sixteen in the book, but she feels more like a thirteen-year-old. This makes her romantic interactions with any of the men a little uncomfortable. I consistently had to remind myself that she is older than she seems.

“He’d loved her. And hated her. And now he had to risk everything he had. Everything he was. For her.”

While the plot did have moments of lag that made me set the book down and struggle to pick it back up, this was still a solid continuation. I really liked the way the beak was used again, and how Hirka and Rime were used. It’s hard to review this without spoiling what happens. Just know, I’m excited about the next book in this series to be translated!

“The day I lose you, it’ll be out of love.”

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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